Monday, March 28, 2011

Kik Alicha (yellow split peas)

I love going out for Ethiopian food. The spices and variety of dishes are fantastic. But the most fun part for me is eating with your hands using the injera (a spongy, fermented bread made with teff flour) to scoop up the food. The fermenting gives it a slightly sour taste that I really enjoy. That combined with the texture, well, put it all together and it's just a great meal every time. 

Of course going out for Ethiopian food is not an option for everyone. So here is one of my favorites you can easily make at home. I ordered the injera..I did try to make it at home once, but let's just say it didn't go well and leave it at that (I'm just not ready to talk about it yet).

Yield:  8-10 servings

2 yellow onions, finely minced
3 tablespoons garlic, finely minced
3 tablespoons finely minced fresh ginger
3 tomatoes, minced (or 1 15-oz. can diced tomatoes w/juice)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 cups water
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lb. organic yellow split peas, soaked overnight and rinsed
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste

1.      Wash split peas in hot water & drain.
2.      In a heavy enamel or iron stewpot, cook the onions over moderate heat for about 5 minutes or until translucent by adding water as needed. Then add tomatoes and garlic. Do not let brown or burn. Add the ginger; continue to sauté for 5 more minutes, adding some of the water as needed.
3.      Add olive oil and stir for another 5 minutes until well blended. Cook briskly, uncovered, for about 5 minutes stirring occasionally, adding water as needed. Add split peas, cardamom, black pepper and remaining water and cook, stirring frequently, for about 30 minutes (or until split peas are tender, but not falling apart). You can add more hot water if needed; sauce should be thick not watery. Add turmeric. Season with salt to taste. Serve with injera.

slightly adapted from Café Colucci, Oakland, CA

chopped onions
cooked onions
tomatoes, garlic and ginger added
adding yellow split peas (water already added)
almost done (it just needs to be a little bit thicker)
Injera is thin (slightly thicker than a crepe and much spongier).
injera up close (see, spongy!)
I ordered my injera from this site. It freezes well.
The best way to reheat the defrosted injera is in
the microwave (it keeps it soft).



Andria Crowjoy said...

I want to hear about the injera! :) I make a pretty good doro wat, this would be a nice addition. Thanks!

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

God bless you. I've been thinking about this non-stop for a while now and wishing I could find the recipe we used last spring. Wish no longer! This is going to be tonight's dinner.

Elizabeth (Foodie, Formerly Fat) said...

I made this last night with 2 small changes... 1. I half pureed it after it was done and I loved what it did to the texture. and 2. I used 1/2 tsp of Berebere spice blend in it. It was great!

Susan said...


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